Announced: $23 million venture fund in Provo, Utah

This may not seem like a big deal to some of you. Silicon Valley has many billion dollar venture funds, after all. But for startups in Utah, this is huge news. A $23 million fund focused on seed investments of $100k to $1 million can provided a needed boost to dozens of companies. If even a single startup funded by Peak Ventures follows the path of billion-dollar Utah companies such as Omniture, Vivint, Ancestry, InsideSales, or...
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Meetups for Utah entrepreneurs

If you are a founder or co-founder of a startup company in Utah, check out the Entrepreneur Brainstorm Lunches that are being held a couple of times per month. The next one is tomorrow at Mimi’s Cafe in Orem, starting at 11:30 am. The format is simple. Everyone buys their own lunch. Every founder gets to introduce himself or herself to the group, talk for a minute about their company, and then describe a specific problem...
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Never Eat Alone – Brainstorm Lunches for Utah Entrepreneurs

Never Eat Alone – Brainstorm Lunches for Utah Entrepreneurs A few years ago, inspired by the book Never Eat Alone, I started holding casual, pay-for-your-own-lunch lunches with other entrepreneurs in Utah. We called these “entrepreneur brainstorm lunches.” We usually held them at Magelby’s restaurant, where at the end of the meal for some reason they would always bring out a twinkie for everyone. So Provo’s economic development director started calling the lunches “Twinkie Talks.” Recently,...
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Rural entrepreneurship

On Saturday, I’ll be speaking in Kanab about technology enabling rural entrepreneurship. I have spoken at a few rural business conferences in Utah in the past. Usually I talk about how internet marketing (Google AdWords, affiliate marketing) and social media (blogging, Twitter, Facebook) can help rural businesses grow. But this time I’m hoping to address the opportunities rural entrepreneurs have to use technology to build companies and create jobs. Rural Success Stories I’ve been scouring...
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Four Steps to the Epiphany author speaking in Utah

Just spreading the word…. ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORKING LUNCHEON featuring Steve Blank (rising celebrity in the entrepreneurship world) “Why Accountants Don’t Run Startups” Thought leader in entrepreneurship, Steve Blank, author of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany,” will share his current thinking about startups, how and why they’re different than large companies, and a few thoughts about entrepreneurial education. This event will combine networking, community information, and a lecture by Steve Blank, renowned entrepreneur and game-changing educator....
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First Utah iPhone Developers Meetup

Last year I started a Facebook group for Utah iPhone developers. The group now has 146 members. Recently, Cary Snowden (of CrunchLunch fame) and Brad Hintze jumped in to help run the group, and they have actually started organizing real world (hopefully monthly) meetings for this group. The first meetup will be at Novell (building A) on Wednesday, May 13th, from 6-8 pm. To RSVP, or for more details, click here. With 12 teams of...
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Utah entrepreneurs: don’t miss this free lecture series

Josh Coates is one of the most talented and energetic entrepreneurs/engineers I have ever met. I had the pleasure of serving on his advisory board at Mozy.com for a brief period as he was first launching his company. He outgrew my very part time services very quickly and I watched him build a very exciting company and sell it for a very large sum in a very short period of time. Very, very cool. I...
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Big Event for Utah Investors and Entrepreneurs, Nov. 20th

Mark Cuban pointed out on his blog last week that President Elect Obama has made his first mistake: he failed to appoint a single entrepreneur to his economic advisory team, when it is clear that "entrepreneurs that start and run small businesses will be the propellant in this economy." He suggested that the new President should "ask the people who are actually starting new businesses what they need," so that the government doesn't adopt policies that will backfire by hurting entrepreneurs.

This morning I watched a 1 hour documentary on the Biography Channel about Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, who by 1985 was the richest man in the United States. It was especially interesting to see how he grew up during the Great Depression, and how many of his values and goals were shaped by watching his father eek out a living during the depression.

iPhone developers, unite!

A few months ago, after feeling the initial rush of getting a million users of our Facebook app We're Related in just 29 days, I set up a Facebook group with an admittedly dumb name: Utah CEOs With a Facebook Strategy. It now has 488 members. We met a couple of times in Provo earlier this year. Jason McGowan and Michael Jensen from our team at FamilyLink.com shared with about 30-40 attendees how to build an app that is viral and can scale, and I tried to pump the Facebook opportunity as well as I could. I'm a true believer in what Facebook did with their Platform, as you will see from my original blog post the day they announced it, back in May 2007, when I predicted that Facebook would become the world's leading social network.

Crash Course in Internet Marketing starts March 15th

Yesterday I met with about a dozen entrepreneurs who came to the Provo Labs Academy to learn about the 12-Week Crash Course in Internet Marketing that starts next Thursday, March 15th at 5 pm. An email will be going out to about 1,000 Utah entrepreneurs early next week, as well as a few additional marketing efforts. We have room for at least 10 more people to sign up for the class, but space is limited, so sign up today at www.provolabs.com/academy/
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